Still hoping to secure a bout for the UFC lightweight championship next, surging Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Charles Oliveira has no interest in a potential outing against the soon to return, Nate Diaz, according to his manager and coach, Diego Lima.
Oliveira, who is currently ranked at #3 in the official 155-pound pile, has won a stunning eight consecutively, most recently besting former interim titleholder, Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 256 in December in a one-sided unanimous decision victory.
Briefly linked to a UFC 258 matchup against recent debutante, Michael Chandler this weekend, Oliveira and co rejected the three-round, non-title bout affair against the Missouri native — detailing how his next outing must come with championship spoils on the line.
During a recent sitdown with ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani, Stockton veteran, Diaz, who is targeting at least two Octagon appearances this year ahead of an April or May return — noted his interest in a potential clash against Sao Paulo grappler, Oliveira at a 170-pound welterweight limit.
Remaining adamant that his client and pupil must feature in a lightweight title fight next, the aforenoted, Lima claimed a matchup between Oliveira and the returning Diaz “makes no sense“.
“To be honest, it is a fight that theoretically makes no sense to us,” Lima said in a recent interview with Brazilian outlet, Ag Fight. “Nate (Diaz) is not active, much less ranked. It is a fight that would only happen for financial reasons. But even so, I don’t think it would be beneficial for us at this point. We know that (Conor) McGregor sells a lot. Really who he faces sells well. Nate is not at that level. Our goal is the belt. Even if it is very financially worthwhile, today I do not see this struggle adding to Charles’ (Oliveira) career. The goal is only one, the lightweight title.”
Despite his eight-fight winning-run, which includes seven finishes, most recently a March UFC Fight Night Brasilia guillotine win over one-time interim title chaser, Kevin Lee — it seems the promotion may have different plans than Oliveira, particularly given their attempts to book him against Chandler in a three-round, non-title tilt on just a few weeks notice.
The promotion is also reportedly working in the direction of a trilogy, rubber-match between recent UFC 257 headliners, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor — with the duo both voicing their interest in a third fight. Team McGregor has detailed how they hope to return against Poirier in May, in an ideal scenario with vacant lightweight spoils up for grabs.